LHP Travis Wood gave up a run in two innings on three hits and a walk on Wednesday. He has allowed multiple runs in six of his 14 outings. Wood is 0-2 with a 10.67 ERA, giving up 18 runs, 17 earned, on 21 hits and 13 walks over 14 1/3 innings. ”They are a little surprising,“ Royals manager Ned Yost said of Wood’s struggles. ”It’s just like he can’t gain momentum; he can’t get into a good groove right now. He hadn’t pitched in six days (before Tuesday). Right now it’s just been a struggle for him.
RHP Jason Hammel is aware that he pitches well the first two innings, but languishes after that. “Those first two innings, maybe have been maybe scoreless, but I trying to work too hard through those,” Hammel said. “I got ahead of hitters (Tuesday) and just couldn’t put them away.” After throwing 29 pitches in the first two innings, Hammel threw 25 in the Yankees’ three-run third. He has a 1.69 ERA the first two innings and a 9.12 ERA from the third inning on.
LHP Jason Vargas suffered his first home loss since Sept. 19 2014, snapping a 10-start unbeaten streak at Kauffman Stadium. The three-run homer he yielded in the fourth to Aaron Hicks was the first he allowed at The K since May 5, 2015 versus Michael Brantley of the Indians. Vargas’ MLB-best 1.01 ERA jumped to 2.03. “Normally Vargy is not going to run into a situation where he’s going to throw 49 pitches in the fourth inning and we’ve got to find five innings of relief,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Vargy for the most part is going to give you a good five, six or seven innings even on those nights when he’s not sharp. It’s just one of those nights. He’s facing a hot-hitting team and they’re not missing the mistakes.”
RHP Ian Kennedy is on target to come off the disabled list Saturday and start at Minnesota. He threw a bullpen session Wednesday and then participated in pitchers fielding practice to test his strained right hamstring. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Dave (pitching coach Eiland) put him through a pretty good regiment today. Everything is looking pretty good right now.” Kennedy said he “threw more pitches than I wanted, trying figure somethings out.” He said the PFP “was probably the hardest part. He was hitting balls left and right, covering first.”
CF Lorenzo Cain left after five innings with a sore wrist after diving for a ball in the fourth inning. “He tweaked his wrist a little bit,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We kind of took him out as a precaution.”